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How To Create A Password That Will Take Years To Crack

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help, Security Help, Using The Internet
 
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Just recently a number of tech companies, including Yahoo, Adobe and Ebay sent out emails to their users asking them to change their passwords after an unknown cyber-attack compromised their databases containing customer information including names, passwords and credit card information. One of the more disturbing things that occurred as a result of these breaches was the release of user passwords. A recent report by Splash Data showed that the most common passwords found as a result of the breach was 123456 and password. Looks like we still haven’t learned, folks.

About a month ago I came up with an idea for creating strong passwords that I thought was worth sharing with the online community. But, before I do that I’d like you to try and memorize the password below.

 

Password- ctfoebtmhtstgsomnccfsolp: -(1984

 

Seems impossible? Well, it isn’t. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps to create a password that is easy to remember yet hard to crack.

Step 1- Find the lyrics of a song you really like and pick a stanza/verse from the song. Then simply choose the first letter from every word in the verse to create the first half of the password.

I’m a music lover and I particularly like old hymns. One of my favourite hymns is “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” so I chose the first verse of the song (actually half of the first verse) and used the first letter of every word as a character for my password.

Come, thou fount of every blessing,

tune my heart to sing thy grace;

streams of mercy, never ceasing,

call for songs of loudest praise.”

 Password: ctfoebtmhtstgsomnccfsolp

 

 Step 2- Decide if the song is projecting a happy or sad emotion.

I decided that the hymn did not have a happy tune to it and so gave it sad smiley (emoticon) -   :- (

Password: ctfoebtmhtstgsomnccfsolp:- (

 

Step 3- Add your birth year or any number you want at the end of the password.

I decided to add my birth year which is 1984 at the end of the password because it was simply easy to remember 

Password: ctfoebtmhtstgsomnccfsolp:- (1984

 

That’s it. You now have a strong, easy to remember [yes, hard to crack :-D ] password.

 

Note-

No password is completely immune from attackers. The most secure passwords are usually more than 10 characters long and use alpha numeric combinations with punctuations to confuse hackers.

To increase the complexity of your password you can capitalize the first and last letter of your password, this will increase the time hackers take to crack it.

If you would like to check the strength of your passwords you can visit the Kaspersky blog to do so (I strongly recommend constructing fake passwords and then testing them)

In addition to testing the strength of your password you can check if your accounts have been compromised in the latest cyber-attacks against Yahoo, Adobe, etc. by visiting haveibeenpwned.com

 ~Aaron

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10 Responses to “How To Create A Password That Will Take Years To Crack”

  1. Barbara Pickett says:

    Thanks…easy to do and remember.

  2. Orv says:

    I translate a common English phrase into an obscure language via Google Translate. For example, “today is Wednesday, June 4″ becomes, in Cebuano,”Karon mao ang Miyerkules, Hunyo 4.” Eliminate the spaces and you get
    “karonmaoangiyerkuleshunyo4.”

    Other letters, numbers, symbols, etc. can be inserted. The tricky part is remembering the English words and the language into which they are translated.

  3. ed says:

    You can mix in CAPS and non caps by using mnemonics like” Hail Mary full of Grace” or “Mary had a little Lamb” this gives you HMfoG or MhalL and mixing in numbers HM1foG2 or Mh3al4L and the occasional (!) !HM1foG2 makes it even stronger…Numbers in series lets you get away with the deadly same password for multiple sites. 1HM1fo2G for site #1 2HM1fo2G for site #2 etc……

  4. K.Vee.Shanker. says:

    Hi Aaron,

    Thanks for your tip to create a very tough password. I also like to point out that we need to create different passwords for important sites such as Banks, Mail A/cs etc. Otherwise, one’s strong password also becomes vulnerable. A cracker needs to break only one site to gain information about one’s other sites.

    As I find remembering different passwords to be impractical and confusing, I record them in my own codes to refer every time. Say for ‘Jane went to Market’ can become JWM. One can add more to it with ‘+’ for variations. To make it short, one has to code them so that it is easy to understand for self while difficult for others. There are also free password managers on net to use.

  5. Carol says:

    Finally, someone has come up with something that’s easy to do and remember!

    Thanks a bunch.

  6. Kathy Jolowicz says:

    Great tip. Am running out of ideas. Clear, simple and concise wording without so much talking.
    Hope you have more tips to give. A pleasure to read.

  7. audra says:

    Another idea – When creating different passwords for different sites, you can always just throw the first letters or initials of a website in front of the password. For example, YH for yahoo, GM for gmail, WS for worldstart, then continue with the password.

  8. Dave says:

    Terrific idea, it intuitively suggests other alternative secure methods…..

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